May 16, 2006

Certificate in addiction studies now available

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There's a new program to help graduates of Southern Illinois University Carbondale ‘s Rehabilitation Institute compete for jobs in the marketplace.

Starting this semester, qualified graduate students can receive a formal certificate in addiction studies. Rehabilitation Institute Director John J. Benshoff said that while the sequence in training individuals in addiction studies has been in place for many years at SIUC, a transcript will now document that the graduate earned a certificate from the program.

"It's going to boost their resumes and it's going to boost their credibility for job applications," said Benshoff. "They will go out and be counselors in local substance abuse agencies and all over the country."

The certificate in addiction studies requires four specific courses and 500 internship hours at an agency that provides drug and alcohol treatment services. Those requirements are consistent with national and state standards in terms of preparation for drug and alcohol work. Students will find the certificate is portable to other states.

The Rehabilitation Counselor Training Program in the Rehabilitation Institute, part of the College of Education and Human Services, dates to the late 1980's. It offers a variety of courses and an internship requirement for students enrolled in established graduate programs in the human services or behavioral sciences.

Benshoff believes the certificate in addiction studies will not only enhance job opportunities for its graduates, it will enhance recruitment of students and faculty. "We think it's going to lead to other big things. We're hoping down the road to establish a center for addiction studies," said Benshoff.

Achieving excellence in graduate education is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.